A study published in this month’s issue of Nature Genetics may provide insight into the future techniques of personalized medicine.
The articles deals with technical advancements and a proof-of-principle study in identifying the causes underlying rare Mendelian disorders.
The techniques involved re-sequencing (another name for next-generation sequencing and massively parallel sequencing) of the exome. That is [...]... Read more »
Blogging about one's own research always feels good: the amount of your work has accumulated enough to at least provide sufficient material for a story and some figures. It has passed the first hurdle of scientific scrutiny, peer review. On the other hand, now an exciting time begins: what will the colleagues say? Will people find the one major flaw that neither you, your co-authors, the people who proof-read the drafts before submission nor the reviewers caught? Will the results lead to new, ex........ Read more »
van Swinderen, B., & Brembs, B. (2010) Attention-Like Deficit and Hyperactivity in a Drosophila Memory Mutant. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(3), 1003-1014. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4516-09.2010
Lupyan & Dale's recent article shows that social structure (e.g. population size) affects linguistic change. But can this dynamic be extended back in time to help think about the evolution of language?... Read more »
Lupyan G, Dale R. (2010) Language Structure Is Partly Determined by Social Structure. PLoS ONE, 5(1). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0008559
Honda, E., & Okanoya, K. (1999) Acoustical and Syntactical Comparisons between Songs of the White-backed Munia (Lonchura striata) and Its Domesticated Strain, the Bengalese Finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica). Zoological Science, 16(2), 319-326. DOI: 10.2108/zsj.16.319
Isbell, L. (1996) The evolution of bipedalism in hominids and reduced group size in chimpanzees: alternative responses to decreasing resource availability. Journal of Human Evolution, 30(5), 389-397. DOI: 10.1006/jhev.1996.0034
How could looking for the best option make you less happy with your choice?... Read more »
Iyengar, S., Wells, R., & Schwartz, B. (2006) Doing Better but Feeling Worse: Looking for the "Best" Job Undermines Satisfaction. Psychological Science, 17(2), 143-150. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01677.x
Covering over 1 million hectares across the United States, military bases sometimes encompass highly threatened ecosystems. For this reason, conservationists have been giving increased attention to military installations as potential places for conserving native biodiversity.
But with their intensive training exercises often involving explosions and heavy machinery, are military bases actually good for conservation?... Read more »
Rivers, J., Gipson, P., Althoff, D., & Pontius, J. (2010) Long-Term Community Dynamics of Small Landbirds with and Without Exposure to Extensive Disturbance from Military Training Activities. Environmental Management. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-009-9421-6
Happy Burns Day everybody. While I contemplate my failure to acquire a haggis and some Irn Bru in Honolulu, I thought I may as well find a tenuous link between Burns and astronomy.... Read more »
Improvisation is the main feature of Jazz that distinguishes it from other forms of music making. Improvisation is the spontaneous musical performance within a relevant musical context. It consists of novel melodic, harmonic and rhythmic musical elements. This unique feature of jazz offers the opportunity for neurobiological research or even creativity. What they did was [...]
Related posts:Bill Evans the most influential pianists in modern jazz As written elsewhere on this blog: Dr Shock is........ Read more »
Limb CJ, & Braun AR. (2008) Neural substrates of spontaneous musical performance: an FMRI study of jazz improvisation. PloS one, 3(2). PMID: 18301756
DIETRICH, A. (2004) Neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the experience of flow. Consciousness and Cognition, 13(4), 746-761. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2004.07.002
The paper I discussed earlier about evidence that corn was imported to Chaco was interesting, but while it provided important information about the poorly understood “Mesa Verdean” period after the fall of the Chaco system it didn’t address the question of food imports during the operation of that system. This has been a topic of [...]... Read more »
BENSON, L., STEIN, J., & TAYLOR, H. (2009) Possible sources of archaeological maize found in Chaco Canyon and Aztec Ruin, New Mexico. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36(2), 387-407. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.023
There's been so much excitement and hyperbole surrounding the promise of brain imaging as a lie detection technique, but what about the needs of the cads, thieves and vagabonds of this world? Has contemporary cognitive neuroscience nothing to offer them? It has now. In an exciting new development for fibbers everywhere, Ahmed Karim and his team have shown that the application of transcranial direct current stimulation over the anterior prefrontal cortex - the front bit of the brain - improves pe........ Read more »
Karim, A., Schneider, M., Lotze, M., Veit, R., Sauseng, P., Braun, C., & Birbaumer, N. (2009) The Truth about Lying: Inhibition of the Anterior Prefrontal Cortex Improves Deceptive Behavior. Cerebral Cortex, 20(1), 205-213. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhp090
Richard Binzel from MIT is the lead author of a new Nature paper titled Earth encounters as the origin of fresh surfaces on near-Earth asteroids (abstract only). They address a long-standing problem in meteoritics: why does the color of meteorites found on Earth so rarely match that of asteroids in the Main Belt? Binzel and his colleagues demonstrate that it is exactly the proximity to Earth that causes changes in the color of the meteorite parent bodies – a tidy solution to a puzzle, and it b........ Read more »
Binzel RP, Morbidelli A, Merouane S, Demeo FE, Birlan M, Vernazza P, Thomas CA, Rivkin AS, Bus SJ, & Tokunaga AT. (2010) Earth encounters as the origin of fresh surfaces on near-Earth asteroids. Nature, 463(7279), 331-4. PMID: 20090748
This post looks at the study "Some Benefits of Being an Activist: Measuring Activism and Its Role in Psychological Well-Being," particularly the idea of activism causing happiness.... Read more »
Klar, M., & Kasser, T. (2009) Some Benefits of Being an Activist: Measuring Activism and Its Role in Psychological Well-Being. Political Psychology, 30(5), 755-777. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9221.2009.00724.x
Scientists uncovered perforated Pecten shells containing red-to-black pigments suggesting that Neanderthals were equally as materialistic... Read more »
Zilhao, J., Angelucci, D., Badal-Garcia, E., d'Errico, F., Daniel, F., Dayet, L., Douka, K., Higham, T., Martinez-Sanchez, M., Montes-Bernardez, R.... (2010) Symbolic use of marine shells and mineral pigments by Iberian Neandertals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(3), 1023-1028. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914088107
In my last posting, I found myself musing about how WHR would influence ratings of body attractiveness if BMI was held constant. Recent research comparing the relative roles of BMI and WHR have tended to support a more prominent role for BMI over WHR. That is, the total amount of body fat seems to matter [...]... Read more »
CORNELISSEN, P., TOVEE, M., & BATESON, M. (2009) Patterns of subcutaneous fat deposition and the relationship between body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio: Implications for models of physical attractiveness. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 256(3), 343-350. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.09.041
Imagine there was a nasty disease that affected 1 in 100 people. And imagine that someone invented a drug which treated it reasonably well. Good work, surely.Now imagine that, for some reason, people decided that 10% of the population need to be taking this drug, instead of 1%. So sales of the drug sky-rocket. Eventually some clever person comes along and asks "This is one of the biggest selling drugs in the world - but does it work?" They look into it, and find that it doesn't work very well at........ Read more »
Fournier, J., DeRubeis, R., Hollon, S., Dimidjian, S., Amsterdam, J., Shelton, R., & Fawcett, J. (2010) Antidepressant Drug Effects and Depression Severity: A Patient-Level Meta-analysis. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(1), 47-53. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.1943
HIIT means high intensity interval protocol. But what is the best HIIT to do if you're tuning it for fat lost first, and anything else second? And does it make a difference if you're dealing with elite athletes or people who are just well enough conditioned so their hearts won't explode if you ask them to go "really hard" for a bit? Is it 60 secs on? 30 off? 60:60? The infamous tabatta on for 20 off for 10 - and remember that was not primarily a fat burning study but an ........ Read more »
Trapp, E., Chisholm, D., Freund, J., & Boutcher, S. (2008) The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International Journal of Obesity, 32(4), 684-691. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803781
GORMLEY, S., SWAIN, D., HIGH, R., SPINA, R., DOWLING, E., KOTIPALLI, U., & GANDRAKOTA, R. (2008) Effect of Intensity of Aerobic Training on V??O2max. Medicine , 40(7), 1336-1343. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31816c4839
Trapp, E., Chisholm, D., & Boutcher, S. (2007) Metabolic response of trained and untrained women during high-intensity intermittent cycle exercise. AJP: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 293(6). DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00780.2006
by whysharksmatter in Southern Fried Science
Any discussion of fisheries policy inevitably comes back to one question: before we can decide how many fish humans can remove from the ocean, we need to know how many fish are there in the first place. This is, without a doubt, an extremely complex problem to solve. In 1969, a Woods Hole scientist named [...]... Read more »
I'd read (somewhere) that bouquets of chemicals you release when you meet 'that someone' become a concoction for hell that loving feeling. (Somewhat reminds me of that wacky Sandra Bullock film Love Potion No. 9). For the first 6 months-year you release endorphins, adrenaline, oxytocin. Subsequently, you might get 'butterflies', the sweats, sleepless nights, loss of appetite etc. etc. What causes that initial attraction anyways? i find it so random. If it was just person........ Read more »
Bernatchez L, & Landry C. (2003) MHC studies in nonmodel vertebrates: what have we learned about natural selection in 15 years?. Journal of evolutionary biology, 16(3), 363-77. PMID: 14635837
SANDROCARVALHOSANTOS, P., AUGUSTOSCHINEMANN, J., GABARDO, J., & DAGRACABICALHO, M. (2005) New evidence that the MHC influences odor perception in humans: a study with 58 Southern Brazilian students. Hormones and Behavior, 47(4), 384-388. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2004.11.005
Lie, H., Simmons, L., & Rhodes, G. (2010) Genetic dissimilarity, genetic diversity, and mate preferences in humans. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31(1), 48-58. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.07.001
A new study in PLoS Biology suggests one of the most common Western European Y halplogroups, R1b1b2, might have originated in Turkey and radiated into Europe with the spread of agriculture during the Neolithic. This is significant because this haplogroup is the most frequent in Western Europe, and has been posited as a signal from [...]... Read more »
Balaresque P, Bowden GR, Adams SM, Leung HY, King TE, Rosser ZH, Goodwin J, Moisan JP, Richard C, Millward A.... (2010) A predominantly neolithic origin for European paternal lineages. PLoS biology, 8(1). PMID: 20087410
Cinnioğlu C, King R, Kivisild T, Kalfoğlu E, Atasoy S, Cavalleri GL, Lillie AS, Roseman CC, Lin AA, Prince K.... (2004) Excavating Y-chromosome haplotype strata in Anatolia. Human genetics, 114(2), 127-48. PMID: 14586639
Pharmaceutical companies are always on the lookout for secondary drug targets. After all, if you invest billions developing a single drug, you would be more than happy to sell it as a treatment for two, three, or more different ailments. Sildenafil citrate was developed to treat angina and hypertension. During phase I clinical trials, it [...]... Read more »
Durrant, J., Amaro, R., Xie, L., Urbaniak, M., Ferguson, M., Haapalainen, A., Chen, Z., Di Guilmi, A., Wunder, F., Bourne, P.... (2010) A Multidimensional Strategy to Detect Polypharmacological Targets in the Absence of Structural and Sequence Homology. PLoS Computational Biology, 6(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000648
Somewhere between 700 and 900 AD, the Maya civilisation in Central America seemed to collapse. Why? For some time, the conventional explanation has been deforestation. They were so efficient at chopping down trees for timber and for farmland that they got rid of the forest, and without it, the fertile soil was eroded. It’s not [...]... Read more »
McNeil, C., Burney, D., & Burney, L. (2009) Evidence disputing deforestation as the cause for the collapse of the ancient Maya polity of Copan, Honduras. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(3), 1017-1022. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0904760107
Ford, A., & Nigh, R. (2009) Origins of the Maya Forest Garden: Maya Resource Management. Journal of Ethnobiology, 29(2), 213-236. DOI: 10.2993/0278-0771-29.2.213
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